Harry Reid says we are all getting sick and dying

Winningreen ENERGY Alert

Harry Reid says we are all getting sick and dying

By Tom Randall

July 1, 2008

Situation: At a Nevada conference on solar energy Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) anxiously intoned:

“Coal is making us sick.”

“Oil is making us sick.”

“Global warming is ruining our country…our world…making us sick.”

We are sorry about the length of this alert but hope you will find it worth your time as out-and-out lies of such mythic proportion — whether his original thoughts or those placed in his mouth by unscrupulous special interests — deserve a thorough response. For that, we reach back a few years to the most widely read and long-running op-ed we have ever done, titled, “Premature Death.” It’s a bit of a personal tale.

Premature Death
By: Tom Randall

A young woman who didn’t care for my opinion that energy should be cheap and plentiful confronted me one night, on a Chicago public television talk show.

Insisting that air pollution from burning fossil fuels was killing more and more Americans and higher taxes should be placed on these forms of energy to restrict their use, she said, “What does extra cost mean when lives are at stake?”

She was referring to studies showing the thousands of “premature” deaths caused by the fine particulate and other pollutants produced by burning fossil fuels and the resulting need to produce cleaner electricity, regardless of cost. There have been many of these studies. They always leave one question unanswered:

Premature to what?

When my parents were born, back when horses were the primary transportation devices and candles provided light, living into your early 50s was considered a gift from God. By the time I was born, you had a better than even shot at getting into your 60s — I remember wondering, as a kid, if I would see this century. Now we have pushed life expectancies to nearly 80 and are speculating about how long the human body is designed to last, perhaps 120 to 150 years.

Cheap, abundant energy has had a lot to do with our life expectancy, just as it did with my survival of a heart attack 18 (now 24) years ago.

High-octane gasoline got me from my remote home to a hospital within what cardiologists call the “Golden Hour,” a key to surviving such events. The staff of the hospital — hospitals are real energy guzzlers — used yards of plastic tubing, wire, oxygen and costly electronics and drugs to save my life. All required great amounts of energy for their production and use. This was also true of the heart-lung machine that took over the job of pumping oxygenated blood during the bypass surgery.

Today, I eat a healthy diet of fresh fruits and vegetables year ‘round. Such luxuries were available only in the summer and fall, when I was a kid. There simply wasn’t the cheap, abundant energy needed to grow, process, refrigerate or freeze and transport fresh food year-round. Soon we will undoubtedly be using energy to irradiate our food to wipe out diseases such as botulism and salmonella.

Odds are that I will live another 20-odd years in our energy-abundant society. If the young woman whom I met on television lived in the restricted-energy society of the past, which the policies she proposed would insure, she, too, might expect to live a bit over 20 years more. The difference: I’ll be in my 80s, she would be in her 40s.

I would urge her and others who think cheap, abundant energy is so unhealthy, to give the matter another thought…the next time you roll out of bed, well rested because you didn’t have get up in the middle of the night to throw a couple logs on the fire…the next time you get out of your piping hot shower and hit the hair dryer…the next time you polish off that breakfast of fresh juice, fruit, cereal and milk — or maybe it’s just a hot latte as you drive to your air-conditioned workplace…give cheap, abundant energy and its contribution to health another thought.

Give it a thought as you send your e (as in electronic) -mail. Give cheap abundant energy a thought as you plan that next vacation to see family and friends…think about jet engines…aluminum airplanes…miles of concrete runways…the trip which will take mere hours instead of perilous days, weeks or even months.

God forbid that you should have to think about it as a pain grows in your chest.
Our air and water have been getting steadily cleaner since the early 1970s, according the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and cleaner energy is always an admirable goal. But, at any price?

Contact: Tom Randall
Winningreen LLC
3712 N. Broadway – PMB 279
Chicago, IL 60613
Phone: 773-857-5086
e-mail: trandall@winningreen.com